Who Was The Highest-Paid Panther In 2011-12?

Feb 28, 2012; Toronto, ON, Canada; Florida Panthers center Stephen Weiss (9) celebrates his goal with defenseman Erik Gudbranson (44) and left wing Sean Bergenheim (20) against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. The Panthers beat the Maple Leafs 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

Let me begin by thanking The Copper & Blue for the concept and formulas utilized within this post. As Derek Zona stated in his original article:

Most of the time, a player's total icetime is reflective of the amount of trust his coach has in him and therefore becomes a proxy for his importance to his team. Since different players take on different roles, one way to measure "highest paid" is by dividing a player's cap hit by his time on ice. Vitally important players should be paid more, cogs and plugs less - if that holds, the Cap Hit / Min should line up in a similar order and become a comparative number for team contributions per player.

Makes sense. We'll take a look at the highest-paid Florida Panthers by position after the jump.

First up, the forwards...

Player Pos TOI Cap Hit Cap Hit / Min
Scottie Upshall L 330.45 $3,500,000 $10,591.62
Wojtek Wolski L 426.39 $3,800,000 $8,912.03
Marco Sturm L 591.06 $2,250,000 $3,806.72
Mikael Samuelsson R 861.10 $2,500,000 $2,903.26
Tomas Fleischmann L 1,566.06 $4,500,000 $2,873.45
Sean Bergenheim L 1,017.33 $2,750,000 $2,703.15
Krys Barch R 374.51 $837,500 $2,236.26
Kris Versteeg R 1,413.36 $3,083,333 $2,181.56
Tomas Kopecky R 1,381.37 $3,000,000 $2,171.76
Mike Santorelli C 744.14 $1,600,000 $2,150.13
Matt Bradley R 489.19 $950,000 $1,941.99
Stephen Weiss C 1,640.49 $3,100,000 $1,889.68
Marcel Goc: C 1,004.12 $1,700,000 $1,693.02
John Madden C 371.28 $600,000 $1,616.03
Jack Skille R 550.26 $825,000 $1,499.29
Jerred Smithson C 808.23 $800,000 $989.82
Shawn Matthias C 1,090.58 $851,625 $780.89

Wow. The highest-paid forward was Upshall who made $10,591.62 per minute in his 26 games with the Panthers, while Matthias earned $780.89 per minute in 79 games (he's also signed on for another season at the same cap hit). Yes, Upshall was hurt for most of season, but accounting for an injury means that I would have to find the start and end date of his injury since cap hits are tracked on a daily basis, not game-by-game.

Let's see the defense...

Player Pos TOI Cap Hit Cap Hit / Min
Ed Jovanovski D 1,101.51 $4,125,000 $3,744.86
Brian Campbell D 2,205.31 $7,142,875 $3,238.94
Erik Gudbranson D 1,022.15 $3,200,000 $3,130.66
Keaton Ellerby D 615.31 $787,500 $1,279.84
Dmitry Kulikov D 1,267.38 $1,325,000 $1,045.46
Mike Weaver D 1,666.53 $900,000 $540.04
Jason Garrison D 1,824.50 $675,000 $369.96

Say what you will about Upshall, but Jovanovski at $3,744.86 is the highest-paid Florida defensemen and roster player who participated in 60+ games with the team, which Upshall, Wolski, Sturm didn't do. At least the Panthers were able to find blueline bargains in Weaver and Garrison; both players combined for a cost of $910 per minute with the Cats. Weaver signed an extension that will have him making $1,100,000 for the next two seasons and Garrison is UFA.

And last, but not least, the goaltenders:

Player Pos TOI Cap Hit Cap Hit / Min
Scott Clemmensen G 1,565.5 $1,200,000 $766.53
Jose Theodore G 3,049.5 $1,500,000 $491.88

Theo has a No-Trade Clause. Just wanted you guys to know that.

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